Friday, October 5, 2012

Hollywood's Black Friday

After 6 months of striking for better wages by the set director sect of the newly formed Conference of Studio Unions (CSU), tempers reached a boil in front of the WB gates on Oct. 5th, 1945.

77 set directors set out to form their own union separate from the international union that had previously resided over most of the film trades in Hollywood. After 9 months of wage negotiations and most of the studios reaching a deal, Warner Brothers failed to deal with the newly formed union, setting off a strike that delayed films such as Dual in the Sun and Night and Day.

Approximately 10,500 employees picketed the gates of the studio. When workers attempted to break the line and fill the jobs, cars were attacked and overturned, forcing the hand of Burbank police to take action against the picketers. Over 40 injuries were reported.

Continued striking throughout the next week along with national attention forced Warner to negotiate with the union. Unfortunately for the CSU this would also trigger government regulation in the form of the Taft-Hartley act, essentially regulating union size and power to avoid similar conflicts in the future. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow - this is an interesting bit of Hollywood history. I had no idea!